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The music video has always been a great promotional tool, but it has also has the potential to provoke and make us think. While most artists go for a simple performance or club video,  some have used their videos  to push the envelope. Inspired by M.I.A.’s “Born Free” video (which was recently banned by Youtube), here’s a look at 14 of the most controversial music videos ever.

Madonna “Like A Prayer”

This video was Madonna’s grand artistic statement, released at the height of her popularity, and caused quite a stir for a number of reasons. It basically pushed all of America’s buttons – from race, to sex, to religion.  To this day it probably caused the biggest scene out of any music video – because of it, Madonna lost a $5 Million Pepsi Endorsement, outraged catholics worldwide, and . What’s so controversial about this video? Well, start with the burning crosses. Add a black Jesus-like figure, stigmata and Madonna making out with black Jesus and you have one of the most controversial videos of all time.


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Justice “Stress”
This video was directed by  Romain Gavras, the same man behind M.I.A.’s “Born Free.” Like the M.I.A. video,  this one takes a raw, unflinching look at violence in modern sociey. This video focuses on a gang of black/North African teens wreaking havoc in France. Robbery, car-jacking, assault… it’s all here in this menacing video.

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Marilyn Manson “Coma White”
JFK’s assassination is always a touchy subject, so this video of  shock-rock artist Marilyn Manson re-enacting the assassination (with  himself as the JFK-figure and Rose McGowan as his wife) was bound to have people up in arms.

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